Boston Calling Day One

Sia was absolutely incredible.  Or rather she was INCREDIBLE!  The girl with an elastic heart who swings from a chandelier, who only cries when her heart is breaking, who is unstoppable, is truly one of the most fascinating artists I have ever witnessed live, and especially in the last few years, I have seen a lot of memorable acts, especially over my three previous Boston Callings, my many forays into The Green River Festival and all the other awesome stuff I have experienced, but never anything quite like this.  For a singer who refuses to show her face when she performs she is surprisingly compelling, and the facelessness is only part of it.  I also don’t think Sia can make a bad song either, but that’s neither here nor there.  Even though there wasn’t a band supporting her, or at least that we could say, there was nothing lacking.  It was solid gold, truly worthy of headliner status.  She just stood there and sang, while modern dance magic happened before our eyes, even featuring celebrity guests no less.  Now that is cool.  There were ever present, the feelings of not being good enough, of feeling alone, or useless, of feeling like something was holding you back, represented in an omnipresent pair of disembodied hands draped over someone’s shoulder.  There was also some fancy camera projection work, the likes of which I have never seen in person.  The music truly came alive before our eyes, it was like watching a live music video unfold.  To be able to transcend an art form, to be able to not just feel the music, but to see it, that is something I will never forget.  Day two awaits right now, so I will be back at a later time to discuss my thoughts on that.

Cheers!

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Newbury Comics..

in my town is closing.  I am beyond saddened by this news, but less saddened by the fact that the company isn’t disappearing.  Nowhere else in town can I get such fun weird kitschy crap, music, and comics.  And to a less extent movies.  At least for movies we still have Target, Best Buy, Walmart, etc. But that isn’t usually nearly as much fun as shopping here.  And of course, having great love for my independent record store/comic store, I am going to buy as much stuff as I possibly can from this location between now and closing.  As can be imagined we are currently inundated with all kinds of stuff because of this.  But a bargain is a bargain after all, especially on fun stuff and important things like music which is truly what moves us all. Support your local businesses always y’all.

8 Days Till Boston Calling!!

I’m beyond psyched that it is so near.  Sia is gonna be breathtakingly amazing I’m sure.City and Colour’s new album has blown me away with amazingness, and I was pumped to see them already.  Borns, and their “Electric Love,” will surely light up the stage. I am interested to see what Disclosure does for a live set, whether it will be an all out dance party, an actual band, how they play the songs featuring all their guest artists that truly drive their music?  So many questions, answers will appear soon won’t they?   And of course Boston Calling wouldn’t be complete without a super fun crass and irreverent band like the time we saw Fidlar last year.  So I am super stoked to see The Front Bottoms.

Yet Another Interesting Album by Radiohead

It’s certainly more an In Rainbows kind of album then a King of Limbs kind of album.  I think it has the most in common with Kid A or maybe Amnesiac, but a little more ethereal.  It’s more spacy, and it doesn’t float out of my head the way King Of Limbs did and still does.  It’s definitely not a return to their more raucous territory the way Hail To The Thief was, and it’s certainly not radio radio the way the first couple albums were.  But at it’s heart it is Radiohead through and through, especially in the fact that you can’t pin at down as one thing, or similar to a specific thing.  It’s definitely a return to a more lyrical approach, and a more densely instrumented sound. I know I used that wrong, but anyone reading gets the idea.  My first listen has sort of relegated this to background noise, but I really love what I here.  And the guitar work is just as gorgeous as anything off of Ok Computer was.  The song, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Thief,”  reminds me a lot of “Pyramid Song,” or even “Paranoid Android,” but even then it’s still something that can’t be pinned down, because I’m hearing shades of “Reckoner,” “15 step,” and others all inside this one track.  “Burn The Witch” is like a mellower “Hail To The Thief” track. “Daydreaming” would feel right at home on Kid A, but also sounds like it would fit as a B-side to King of Limbs or In Rainbows. “Desert Island Disk,” sounds like something you might hear on an album by Alt-J, who many have called the new Radiohead oddly enough.  But it also would fit perfectly in between any two tracks off of Ok Computer. “Full Stop” is really the closest thing there is on here to a straight up rock track.  But here is where Radiohead never ceases to confuse me.  Almost every track on here, not only the ones I mentioned could fit pretty much anywhere in the middle of Radiohead’s very eclectic song catalog from the past 20 plus years So my question to you is this:  how many of these are brand new tracks, as opposed to bits and pieces of the past as it were?  When you listen to music you are listening to the past anyway, just like when you see the moon’s reflection.  The name of the album is A Moon Shaped Pool, so maybe that is part of the concept of this concept album.  And oddly enough, the album ends with a re-working of a song that has been part of their catalog for a number of years, but has never once appeared on any of their studio albums.  They truly know how to come full circle.

Bottoms Up!

Took A Walk

Take A Walk- Passion Pit

I ambled down to the library to return some of my items, and I thought about how much I used to love the easy access to the streets of downtown back in Keene at college time, and just how relaxing it was to just wander through different routes and passages all leading to the same places.  I guess it’s true what they say, “All roads lead to home,”  or was it Rome?  Oh well, I’m not one to turn a cliché in a way that may come off as cliché.  If that is cliché to say, well I’m sorry.  I mean I really am not sorry, especially not for dropping that nice little video gem in the midst of my blog.  But anyways, I took my walk and although we live in downtown in a moderately populous city, the air is crisp and clean, and there are trees just about everywhere.  It also seems that almost every street in this part of town intersects, and it is nearly impossible for me to get lost.  I could feel the air, the sun, the early summer breeze in my stylish haircut, and it was nice, all of it.  The busy streets were right there, but on my walking route, it was like I had entered a new and different place.  Everything moved in a loop back to my point of origin.  At no point in my walk, excepting the very end, did I retread my steps.  What was familiar or old hat, was new again.  What was new was amazing.  Like I said, the sunny days really photosynthesize my piece of mind and stimulate my artsy side. Mwahaha, I rhymed without even meaning to.  But that’s really all I have to say.  Taking a walk works wonders for body and soul. Go do it, I guess.

Also Good for What Ails You

It’s Back

The sun has returned to us this week, and now that it is my day off, I couldn’t be more glad of that fact.  The sun is back.  The warmth and joy of Spring is back.  The hint of Summer is back.  Our good moods are back, and our motivations, and faith in our abilities to succeed are all back back back back back.  And Radiohead’s new album has arrived!!!!  I am overjoyed to have my first listen of “A Moon Shaped Pool,” at some point this day, and I’m sure it will not disappoint.  My brief dive into it last night proved that it does have more to offer than “King Of Limbs, ” which was  a great album, don’t get me wrong, but I like that the new album is a concept album that’s actually focused more on a legit concept than the previous endeavor.  But regardless, it will be a delight to the ears I am sure.

Only a couple short weeks till Boston Calling VII, and I am pumped up about that for sure.  Sia, Disclosure, City And Color, Borns, The Front Bottoms,  Miike Snow, Odesza, and many others are going to be awesome I am sure.  Boston Calling has never disappointed in variety of artists and styles represented, and has also hardly disappointed in quality of performers and performances, though certainly Brand New left much to be desired.  But the postives of the experience outweigh the negatives.  We fell in love with bands and artists we wouldn’t have known otherwise, and saw way more artists that we already loved, that we probably wouldn’t have the opportunity without the festival that kicks off the summer in the best possible way.  The line-up this time is much less known to me, to be pleasantly surprised is also a pleasant surprise.

Well today folks, think Spring, and dream Summer.  Take a walk, throw a disc, jam out to some good tunes, open your windows, fling open your doors, and throw out your arms to the gift that is today, and run with it.  I don’t care if you have work or not, you do get out of work at some point right?  Get out and see that big beautiful place we call the world.

I know I’m telling you this from my apartment floor on a computer screen, but once I am done dropping these words in front of your faces, I am going outside myself.  So there!

 

Bottoms Up!

Who Else Thinks It’s Awesome?

Prince was in that amazing New Girl episode from a few seasons ago, because he explicitly asked to be on the show?  That’s amazing.  And that is fandemonium right there.  Prince continues to impress us even in things revealed of him after his death.  Long Live Prince.

Does anybody else think it’s funny?

I read a dumbass article about Donald Jerkface Trump, and how he needs to change his tune to score approval for the impending nomination as well as for the voters in November.  If he changes his tune, it’s too little too late for a lot of people.  Or should I say most people.  But what bugged me the most in this article, is that they quoted a man speaking against Trump, who was credited as “the person in charge of Hillary Clinton’s Super-Pac.”  They even admit it to us that people like Hillary are cut from the same cloth as people like Trump, and nobody bats an eye?  What gives America?

Captain America: Civil War

This movie was great if you ask me.  And if you know me, of course you will ask me.  Anyways, enough silliness, let’s get to the nitty-grittyness.  At the end of Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers decided he had to track down Bucky and either bring him to heel, or sway him back to “the right side,” but then Tony Stark set Ultron loose upon the world, and there wasn’t any time to search in the midst of all that.  But certainly, anyone else in the world with powers most have gone to ground in light of the events in Sokovia. Right?  Well it turns out Bucky can still be controlled as long as anyone has the right code words.  The world’s governments realize that they have to keep superhumans in check, and are none too happy that Hulk and Thor aren’t accounted for in this film.

I’m not happy about that either.  I love those guys.  But there is almost too much going on in this.  Sure tons of little back stories and side conflicts surfaced in age of Ultron, but they also made them part of the main plot.  I love Scarlet Witch, and am just glad to see her in more scenes even though she’s in too few.  Regardless she shines brightly, especially in some really cute relationship type stuff going on with Vision, who is by far one of my favorite people, or not people as it were.  Ant Man is here, and Paul Rudd delivers amazing comic timing for his very very brief appearance in the film.  The inclusion of Spider-Man in here surprisingly doesn’t make me gag like I thought it would.  I mean how many Spider-Men can there be before there are too many Spider-Men?

Tony is all for keeping their powers in check, but he has just as much of a problem with right and wrong as everyone else does in this film.  Throughout Captain America is convinced one way is right, and Tony is convinced the other way is right. With Cap though, it is more his sense of doing the most good for the most people, while for Tony it’s about something more closely related to his over the top ego.  Which is dumb, because he lost Pepper, and he also was solely responsible for the creation of the world’s first sentient program, which almost destroyed all life on the planet.  Wake up Tony.  Steve is the real hero in this movie.  But of course, that’s why the movie is called Captain America: Civil War!

I love the dynamic between the two throughout all the films, butting heads the entire time.  Of course this is what would happen.  It’s a bit on the predictable side, but also all the fans were dying to see something like the Civil War storyline mirrored in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Black Panther is nicely teased into the mix, and they do a lot of cool stuff with him, but I just want more of him, but it’s nice how his motivations and actions throughout stem from the same place as Tony’s decisions, and ultimately the villain’s decisions.  It is a nice mirror effect going on here.  Nobody is free of blame.  Nothing is black and white, pure good and evil.  I mean, this is why Batman V. Superman was so good in my opinion.  Way to be, Marvel.  Ultron started asking the bigger questions and you truly delivered with this film.

Also this being a Captain America movie, they bring the focus back round to Steve and Bucky as the finale looms, and they really end it on a high note.  Black Widow’s functionality as a double agent really plays well into how she views her allegiances throughout the film, and seeing her and Clint not agree on something is also a welcome and fun surprise.  I love how Rhodey unflinchingly goes along with Tony, and how Sam Wilson does this in equal measure but with Cap.  The film-makers really covered all corners with this one, and I couldn’t be more proud.  See for yourself….

Oh, and Doctor Strange?  It comes out sooooooooon!

Civil War Movie

I hope everybody enjoyed Marvel’s latest offering, wherein Captain America follows Tony Stark back in time to the American Civil War, who has decided to join the confederacy.  Captain America will have none of this, and offers his services to Abraham Lincoln to take down The Iron Confederate….

I kid.